On a rainy day in Havana, Cuba, the New York Cosmos blew the Cuban National Team away in the frst half as they scored 4 goals inside 45 minutes. However, they did slow down on the second half, and that is when Cuba started attacking more and did eventually find the back of the net, scoring their solitary strike.
This match happened in a joint effort from both countries to re-establish and promote better relationships between them. The U.S. flag was unfurled on the field and the U.S. national anthem was played, which is something very unusual coming from a communist country. This game also served to show how Cuba is transforming from a baseball country to one where soccer is becoming more and more popular.
Raul, the former Real Madrid forward did not score any goals, however he did participate and assist in 3 out of the 4 goals. The first two came from Lucky Mksona, and after that it was Sebastian Guezatti and Hagop Chrishian who notched their tallies. In the second half, Andy Vaquero from Cuba got the only goal.
What did help Cosmos was scoring early in the game, as Mkosana said: “Getting our early goals in the beginning was huge for us”, “I felt like the atmosphere from the [Cuban] fans was phenomenal. Everyone was just trying to support us wherever we went and I think that was big for us today.”
Pelé, the Brazilian former soccer star that played for Cosmos in 1970 was there for the game, as his first time in Cuba, and was supposed to do the opening kick, however because of the rain he only saluted the fans from the stands.
It was pretty interesting to see how the Cuban fans were so excited to watch that match, as soccer was never a big sport there. But things are changing, and Cubans are becoming more interest in the sport, which is the world’s most popular ball game.
Cosmos will now play their last game of the season in a final against Jacksonville Armada FC on June 13th to win the NASL Championship